The link between sleep and childhood obesity
Is there a link between sleep and childhood obesity? Poor eating habits and lack of exercise are often not the only key contributing factors to a child’s weight.
Several international studies in the last 20 years have linked the trend of a rise in childhood obesity and decrease in sleep duration in children. In fact studies of more than 50,000 children support this link.
Sleep of less than 12 hours a day in children aged 6 months to 2 years (EM Traveras et al 2008) was associated with a higher BMI score and increased odds of overweight.
What we know so far about sleep in relation to childhood obesity – The FLAME Study (BMJ 2011)
Longitudinal analysis of sleep in relation to BMI and body fat in children, the FLAME study findings showed reduced sleep significantly increased the likelihood of excessive weight gain. The children who slept longer aged 3 to 5 were 61 percent less likely to be overweight aged 7.
The link between lack of sleep and increased obesity held good even when other variables such as household income, fruit and vegetable intake, TV watching and the mother’s education were allowed for.
Children who slept longer between the ages of 3 to 5 had lower BMI’s at the age of 7.
It concluded that young children who did not get enough sleep are at risk of becoming overweight, even after adjustments for initial weight and other confounding factors such as fruit and vegetable intake TV watching and household income
One day professionals sleep workshop in London
Our sleep study day is firmly grounded in evidence based practice. We have been training health professionals across the UK and for the NHS & HSE Ireland since 2005.
Our next London dates is Tuesday 13th September 2016 – King’s Cross.